Apple introduced Dark Mode for iOS in 2019 as part of the main iOS and iPadOS 13 releases. The long-awaited feature makes using an iPhone or iPad at night more comfortable by turning white elements on the screen black, reducing the amount of blinding light emitted by your iPhone. The feature is also accessible on Macs running macOS 10.14 Mojave or later, as well as Apple TVs running tvOS 10 or later.
Many people have chosen to use Dark Mode all day, every day, simply for the cool factor — though, of course, there are practical benefits to using Dark Mode, such as increased battery life on iPhone models with an OLED display (pretty much all of the latest iPhones, excluding the iPhone SE), as explained by Apple. Not everyone will like the look of Dark Mode, and not everyone will use it for the same reasons. Some users simply prefer the darker aesthetic, but even if you’re not one of them, there are a few compelling reasons to enable the feature.
According to Apple, turning on Dark Mode on an iPhone 12 or later (excluding the iPhone SE), iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone Xs or Xs Max, or iPhone X may increase your daily battery life, depending on which apps you use frequently. Unless you spend all day playing games on your iPhone, you should notice a battery boost.
According to Apple’s support documentation, those iPhones have OLED displays that light up each pixel individually. This means that when the display is showing black or darker colors, the iPhone will use significantly less battery power than when it is showing white or very bright colors. When you enable Dark mode, the majority of the screen will display darker colors. If you spend the majority of your time responding to texts or emails, browsing the web, or checking social media, enabling Dark mode will extend your battery life, albeit slightly.
It helps you focus
There’s a reason why apps like the Camera app on your iPhone or Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro on the Mac only have dark interfaces with no way to switch to light mode: it helps you focus (via Apple). The same is true when using Dark Mode on your iPhone. The window chrome and overall interface begin to fade into the background, allowing the focus to shift to the content at hand.
This is also why blackletter and pillar boxing are used in movies, TV shows, photos, and videos. This isn’t to say that using Dark Mode on your iPhone will solve potential focus issues, but it should help you stay focused on the content at hand rather than the brighter, more vibrant Light interface. If you want to go even further, you can enable Focus mode, which should help reduce the number of notifications that appear on your iPhone.